Gender equality in twelfth night essay

Twelfth Night shows how women often have to act or pass as men in order to achieve their goals. Olivia could be saying that it is good for her to give love, but even better that she is giving it without reciprocation. By swearing on "everything" Olivia devalues the things that she swore upon before and suddenly seems rather supercilious.

Then she urges Cesario not to take his "reasons from this clause"presumably indicating he should not base his decisions on her revealed passion, but should instead "reason thus with reason fetter" Although Twelfth Night is a story of love and courtship, nevertheless, it is also a "comedy of gender," because of its ability to override the traditional Elizabethan notions of the female role through the characters of Viola and Olivia.

Love is sought from Viola and never received, but "given unsought" by Sebastian who is truly unsought because he doesn't even exist for Olivia until the end of the play.

Olivia's oath on maidenhood also tempts the reader toward a lesbian reading by hinting that Cesario would also understand maidenhood The way in which she speaks to Cesario mimics the contemporary traditions perfectly. The fact that she must cross dress as a man shows that patriarchy was the rule of law in Illyria and Viola is willing to subvert patriarchy in order to succeed and survive.

As the play continues, Cesario falls in love with the Duke, and Olivia falls in love with Cesario, who is really Viola disguised.

In the same way, women either must act in traditionally masculine ways in order to succeed and survive in the modern world. Even now in the 21st century, there are people who still believe heterosexual marriage the only type of legitimate marriage, although same-sex marriage is slowly becoming more normalized in society.

Cesario, however, refuses to fight. Olivia's description of Cesario's beauty, both here and upon their first encounter, praises typically feminine qualities, but curiously doesn't question Cesario's gender.

Counterpoint is a technique that incorporates multiple scenes happening simultaneously. He insinuates her gender ambiguity in the previous act: However, Olivia's mistaken interpretation of Cesario's manner is only the surface problem presented by her speech.

In Gender Trouble, Butler argues that the cultural meanings that attach to a sexed body—what we call gender—are theoretically applicable to either sex.

Viola’s Gender Roles in Twelfth Night

Boys acting as women disguised as boys provide the strongest visual symbol of Feste's comment in Twelfth Night that "nothing that is so, is so" IV i. Cesario, however, refuses to fight. When she does, they observe him, along with Fabian, another servant, as Malvolio falls for the bait. Olivia, thinking Sebastian is Cesario, leads Sebastian to marriage in a nearby chapel.

Rather than resolving anything, the last line of the passage continues the ambiguity found throughout. In keeping with the conventions of Elizabethan comedy as a whole, the play resolves in heterosexual marriage; yet, despite references to Viola in female clothing, this never actually happens.

Although probably not intended to the extent of a lesbian courtship, the situation of a woman wooing another woman presents a comical picture for the audience, perhaps even more so in the Elizabethan era with two male actors wooing each other as women.

Olivia could be saying that it is good for her to give love, but even better that she is giving it without reciprocation. Consequently, the general assertion has often been that the roles of women in Shakespeare's plays were prominent for the time and culture that he lived in.

Whether disguised as the young man Cesario or in her true identity as Sebastian's sister, Viola is the central character of the play.

Unfortunately, Elizabethan society was a masculine society in which women had little part. The foolishness of the scene; a male actor playing a woman, wooing another man playing a woman, who is playing a man, appears to poke fun at the entire convention.

Finally, Cesario inevitably reveals that he is Viola and Sebastian recognizes her as his sister. Little conclusive evidence exists concerning the actual involvement of women with the Elizabethan stage; women were not permitted to act on the stage.

Gender Trouble in Twelfth Night - Essay

Our writers can write any custom essay for you! Among his many plays is the notable, Twelfth Night, a romantic comedy, placed in a festive atmosphere in which three couples are brought together happily.Sample essay topic, essay writing: Gender Roles In Twelfth Night - words Born on approximately April 23, in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, William Shakespeare is considered by many to have been the greatest writer the English language has ever known.

Gender Roles in Twelfth Night

Gender Roles in Twelfth Night This Research Paper Gender Roles in Twelfth Night and other 64,+ term papers, college essay examples and free essays are available now on Autor: review • December 19, • Research Paper • 2, Words (9 Pages) • 2, Views4/4(1).

Essay on Twelfth Night: A Gender-Bending Journey - Twelfth Night: A Gender-Bending Journey Shakespeare enjoyed writing passionate plays about young lovers, but, after a while, the formula became exhausted and the Bard was forced to dig deeper, creatively speaking.

Gender Equality in Twelfth Night In William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night gender plays a large role in the overall plot.

The play involves the confusion fueled by the disguise of the character of Viola, as well as the unlimited freedom given to her. William Shakespeare’s early play, Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a classic romantic comedy placed in a Christian-Pagan environment.

By comparing and contrasting Twelfth Night with the movie She’s the Man, I am arguing that discrimination of the female gender in Twelfth Night is still relevant today.

Twelfth Night shows how women often have to act or pass as men in order to achieve their goals. Both homophobia and gender equality are themes in Twelfth Night that parallel contemporary life.

Gender bending is a major theme of Twelfth Night. In the very first act of the play, Viola disguises herself as a man in order to speak with Duke Orsino.

Gender equality in twelfth night essay
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